“This land is your land…” if your name is Malone or Turner
by SPY_VONDEGA on JANUARY 29, 2011 - 1 Comment in LAND

Malone - in need of landbuddies

Media Titan John C. Malone, is completing on nearly one million acres of timberland in Maine, and could soon overtake Ted Turner to become the largest private landowner in the United States. Will he register on landbuddy.com in the category “Off-grid and wants others to join”? We hope so.


This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

Mr. Malone, who lives in Colorado, has a controlling interest in QVC cable channel; Expedia.com, travel Web site; and Sirius XM satellite radio.
But what will he do with the land – enough to house hundreds of thousands of Americans? (more…)

Gratzel solar cells
by TECHSTAR on JANUARY 29, 2011 - 3 Comments in SOLAR

Cheap power for all

A mix of biomimicry and solar power offers the best hope for low cost off-grid energy in the near future.
The Gratzel solar cell imitates Nature’s way of converting sunlight to energy and is slowly making its debut in a variety of products.
The technology uses a photosensitive dye to start its energy production, the same way leaves use chlorophyll to begin photosynthesis.
The dye-sensitized cells provide power for devices ranging from e-book readers to cellphones — and will take some interesting forms. For e-book readers, for example, the cells may be found in thin, flexible panels stitched into the reader’s cover.
German photonics expert Prof Michael Gratzel is the inventor of the dye-sensitised solar cells. often known as Gratzel cells or Gratzel solar cells. Because these are low-cost photovoltaics, they are largely being developed for use in Africa and India by G24 Innovations of California.
This means off-grid users in the West risk losing out on the earliest deployments although panels will also be housed in new lines of backpacks and sports bags, where they can recharge devices like cellphones and music players. (more…)

New Madrid Fault System good for business
by TECHSTAR on JANUARY 27, 2011 - 1 Comment in WORK

Stein: Govt money wasted

While the San Andreas fault has the attention of most doomsday scenario buffs, the lesser known New Madrid Fault System is the one that has FEMA (Department of Homeland Security; Federal Emergency Management Agency) tied up in knots.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there were over 500 measurable earthquakes in the New Madrid Fault System since September. A massive quake in this area would kill or injure millions and leave 14 million homeless. (more…)

Off The Grid in Oklahoma
by JACK-IN-OKLAHOMA on JANUARY 27, 2011 - 12 Comments in LAND

Our little piece of heaven

Just getting started on my project.  We have twenty acres down on the Salt Fork of the Oklahoma Red River.  The view is worth all the trouble.  To your left is the river front, 300 hundred yards of river sand bar for the kids to play on.  Just to the right is a creek that is about twenty feet deep.  It is easy to catch a mess of fish for supper.  We have two four wheelers to get around on the property and to run up and down the river. Nearest power utilities is about two miles away, you have to drive down an irrigation canal, through a cotton field, then a wheat field, and then another three quarters of a mile after you enter our property.    Needless to say getting utilities to our site is cost prohibitive.

Solar cell efficiency set to double
by MOTORCITYMIGRANTS on JANUARY 24, 2011 - 1 Comment in SOLAR

Universities and research institutes are making fast progress in research to enhance solar cell efficiency. For example, Stanford University is working on Photon Enhanced Thermion Emission (PETE) that can double solar cell efficiency. Some other projects are near commercial launch with efficiency rates in the 30-40% range. (more…)

UK suppliers of off-grid heating oil and gas suspected of price fixing
by VEG-HEAD on JANUARY 23, 2011 - 4 Comments in ENERGY

Hendry: cosy relationship with AEP


Claims that fuel companies profiteered from last month’s freezing weather by inflating the price of heating oil are to be investigated, the UK Government announced last week.

Charles Hendry, a Government minister said he was worried about the “fact that quite a number of suppliers are owned by one individual company…there has been a massive increase in prices.”

More than 1.5m homes are dependent on oil and 150,000 need deliveries of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for their heating, cooking and hot water.

Customers reported prices jumping from 45p a litre to 72p this winter. (more…)

King Country power users “held to ransom” by line company
by VEG-HEAD on JANUARY 22, 2011 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

In New Zealand, King Country electricity users are waging a war of words against a lines company that has hiked its charges. Line companies do not charge for power – which is supplied by another organisation, but simply have a monopoly on the power lines in this far-flung outlying area on New Zealand’s West Coast.

Customers of a King Country electric lines company which has almost tripled some of its charges have taken out an advertising campaign accusing it of “public relations spin and b******t.”

Customers of The Lines Company (TLC), which services 20,000 homes, farms and businesses from Otorohanga to Ohakune, are being asked to forward complaints to the Electricity and Gas Commissioner after changes were made to TLC’s pricing plan last year. (more…)

CabbageGate – Zoning ban on home grown food
by NICK ROSEN on JANUARY 22, 2011 - 0 Comments in FOOD

Steve Miller in Georgia was fined $5000 for growing too many organic veggies on his patch.

It was a zoning violations, and I bet it was not the only one of its kind – please write a comment if you know of other examples of local bureaucrats going wild. (more…)

Pedal powered water pump
by NICK ROSEN on JANUARY 21, 2011 - 3 Comments in WATER

An old mountain bike, some DIY know-how, a length of tube and a few coats of paint against the elements is all that is needed to turn an old piston-pump into your own fully-functioning mechanical water pump.

This film made in county Mayo shows how to get yourself 10 liters per minute. (more…)

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